When Emma announced that she had been given some blue cornmeal last week, I gasped. The very same thing had just happened to me! Never one to let a coincidence go unexplored, I set to work finding the perfect recipe.
Although I wasn’t very familiar with blue cornmeal, I suspected my gift was kind of special. It’s from southern New Mexico where the corn was dried over a wood fire and ground by hand and came in a very nondescript ziplock baggie with Blue Corn Meal carefully lettered in thick black ink. There was something slightly illicit and thrilling about the whole thing.
I decided to start with savory miniature griddle cakes because I couldn’t shake the image of a large, lumpy, blueish-grey mass when I read the cornbread recipes. Many recipes call for buttermilk, but I’m most likely to have yogurt in the house, so I just thinned some with a little milk.
This version keeps the sugar to a minimum and benefits from the roasted corn which highlights the smoky-sweetness of the cornmeal. I served it with a nice tomato salsa and a drizzle of Mexican crema. Makes about 2 dozen small griddle cakes.
Savory Blue Cornmeal Griddle Cakes
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup blue cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup of yogurt, thinned with
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup frozen roasted corn, thawed and drained
In a bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, soda, salt and sugar. In another bowl, whisk the egg, add the the oil and the thinned yogurt and whisk until blended. Add to the flour mixture and whisk gently until just blended. Stir in the corn.
Heat a few teaspoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat until hot. Dollop small spoonfuls of batter into the skillet. Cook the cakes until golden, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Depending on the size of your pan, this may take several batches. Keep the griddle cakes in a warm oven until all the batter is used up. Serve immediately.
Tips: Trader Joe’s makes a nice frozen roasted corn. If you happen to have unrefined corn oil on hand, use it instead of the vegetable oil in the recipe. It will add a nice boost of corn flavor.